Deferred Action - DACA - Updates & Resources

LATEST NEWS

All out in defense of DACA!

THE LATEST:

On Sept. 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the President's decision to rescind the DACA program. There will be a "wind down" period of six months, giving Congress until March 5, 2018 to act legislatively on a solution. In the meantime, DACA status remains in place.

Click here for a NNIRR fact sheet on the ending of DACA.

NNIRR condemns the decision of the Administration to end DACA, and we will fight along with DACA recipients, their families, supporters and allies for the continuation not only of this status, for the protection from deportation of all undocumented immigrants.

NNIRR Executive Director Catherine Tactaquin spoke with Berkeley Pacific station KPFA's Mitch Jeserich on the morning of Sept. 5, 2017, soon after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Administration's decision to end the DACA program. Listen to the program here.

Read the Dept. of Homeland Security press release here.

HERE IS THE MAIN INFORMATION ON THE ENDING OF DACA:

  • DACA status remains valid and in place until its expiration date.
  • No new DACA applications are being accepted.
  • DACA status, along with work permits, that expire between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 MUST BE RENEWED by Oct. 5, 2017.
  • DACA recipients will not longer be given "advance parole" to travel abroad.
  • Congress does have a window, until March 5, 2018,  to consider legislation -- like the Dream Act -- for DACA recipients. 

Legislation that could be considered includes the Dream Act of 2017, introduced earlier this year. Here's a side-by-side comparison from the National Immigration Law Center of the Dream Act of 2010, DACA, and the 2017 proposal. While stand-alone legislation is preferred, congressional politicians will likely seek a legislative compromise that includes more border enforcement and even cuts in legal immigration, such as proposed in th RAISE Act.

States threatening a suit against DACA had given the Administration until Sept. 5 to rescind the program. The Trump Administration had previously claimed that they would not defend DACA if it is challenged in court. 

Prior to the rescission, over 400 businesses signed a letter to Donald Trump, to signal their support for the DACA program.

The AFL-CIO, commenting from a labor perspective, had issued the statement, Holding the Line on Workplace Rights.

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NEED-TO-KNOW information on the ending of DACA:

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE END OF DACA? A community advisory in several languages, from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center

http://weareheretostay.org/resources/frequently-asked-questions-on-daca-termination/

http://weareheretostay.org/resources/faqs-daca-rescission-and-workplace-rights/

NNIRR Fact Sheet on the ending of DACA

Any DACA recipient concerned with current standing should seek reliable legal counsel. Here are some good resources to search for legal assistance in your area:

You can check out the searchable listing provided by the Immigration Advocates Network. Go here to check for contacts in their Legal Directory.

National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer's Guild: Online legal & community resource including a national directory of immigration attorneys.

For up-to-date information on DACA, please visit the United We Dream website.

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Past Updates:

On July 20, 2017 a new bipartisan bill, entitled the DREAM Act of 2017, S. 1615, was introduced into Congress. The bill, cosponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) seeks to provide a pathway to legal status for undocumented youth who meet a certain set of requirements. This bill would essentially put the main ideas of DACA into law through congress, an action that is necessary considering the legal action soon to be taken against DACA in court. 

The National Immigration Law Center has released a table comparing provisions of the 2010 and 2017 Dream Acts and DACA. You can find that comparison here

The Migration Policy Institute has released a fact sheet on DACA and the potential impacts of the new DREAM Act of 2017 (July, 2017). 

The Huffington Post has published an article discussing the difficulties of signing the new DREAM Act into law due to President Trump's stated refusal to sign it (July 20, 2017). 

Politico released an article discussing Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly's assertion that the Trump administration will not support DACA if it goes to court (July 12, 2017).

Officials from ten states have threatened to take legal action against DACA if the Trump Administration does not begin to end the program starting September 5th. Read more about this issue here

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CONCERNING THE SUPREME COURT RULING AGAINST THE EXPANSION OF DACA AND THE DAPA PROGRAM

The Supreme Court held a split decision on the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), as well as the Deferred Action for Parent Accountability (DAPA) policies. This tie means that both programs will be put on hold, and DHS will not accept any new DACA+/DAPA applications. The original DACA/DAPA programs of October 2012 are unaffected by the ruling and will remain in place. 

Click here to read NNIRR's official statement about the Supreme Court ruling. 

See below for statements from fellow members and partners from around the country:

Immigrant Defense Project

Desis Rising Up & Moving 

Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance

Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Southeast Immigrant Rights Network

 

To read more about the Supreme Court Ruling, please see the following articles:

"Supreme Court’s Decision on Immigration Case Affects Millions of Unauthorized Immigrants"(New York Times: June 23rd, 2016).

"Supreme Court Deadlocks On Immigration, Leaving Obama’s Deportation Relief Plan In Limbo" (The Huffington Post: June 23rd, 2016). 

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Background to the Supreme Court Case United States vs. Texas (The Challenge to President Obama's DACA+/DACA Program)

The information below updates the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), as well as its expansion and the Deferred Action for Parent Accountability (DAPA) policies, as announced by President Obama in his Executive Action of November 20, 2014. DACA expansion and DAPA have not yet been implemented due to a pending lawsuit. 

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral testimony in the case of United States v. Texas, on April 18. This is the lawsuit that led to an injunction against implementation of "DAPA/DACA+".

Click here to read the transcript of the April 18 oral arguments at the Supreme Court.

Read NNIRR's update on the case: "Fight for Families, Rule for Justice" (April 15, 2016)

Read American Immmigration Council briefing document, "Defending DAPA and Expanded DACA Before the Supreme Court: A Guide to United States v. Texas" (April 16, 2016)

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ALERT: USCIS has recalled some 2,600 work authorization documents issued to DACA recipients that were incorrectly issued as 3-year permits. These must be returned to USCIS by July 30. 2-year authorization documents will be issued in their place. DACA recipients will not lose their status, but are cautioned to comply with the request to return the 3-year authorization documents and receive a replacement one. USCIS will reportedly visit the homes of those who do not return the 3-year work documents.

For more information on this issue, please click here.

(Click here to download NNIRR's Fact Sheet on DACA and DAPA)

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GENERAL OVERVIEW OF DACA

What is DACA?

  • Stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
  • Announced on June 15, 2012 by the Secretary of Homeland Security, under the administration of President Obama.
  • Permits temporary authorization for undocumented immigrants who meet certain guidelines to remain in the United States.

How long does DACA permit eligible recipients to remain in the United States?

  • Eligible grantees are permitted deferred action for a period of two years, which may be considered for renewal.

What does deferred action mean?

  • Deferred action means delaying the deportation of an undocumented immigrant for a certain period of time.

What are the eligibility guidelines to be considered for DACA?

  • Came to the United States before reaching 16th birthday;
  • Continuously resided in United States since June 15, 2007, up until the present time;
  • Under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  • Currently in school, have graduated or obtained certificate of completion from high school, have obtained General Education Development certification, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States of America;
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS.

Check out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals official announcement and general overview video here. (Official video by USCIS)

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FIRST TIME APPLICANTS

How to file for DACA for the first time:

Download the official USCIS graphic on eligibility and filing information here.

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RENEWAL (As according to USCIS) 

Who can request a DACA renewal?

You may request a renewal if you met the initial 2012 DACA guidlines and you:

  • Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

When should to request a renewal?

  • Between 150 days and 120 days before the expiration date located on the current Form I-797 DACA approval notice and Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

How to renew?*

Complete and sign:

  • Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
  • Use the most recent version of Form I-821D on the USCIS website or USCIS will reject your form.
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • Form I-765W Worksheet
  • Follow the instructions on all three forms to submit them to USCIS. There is a $380 filing fee for Form I-765 and an $85 biometric services (fingerprints and photo) fee, so the total cost is $465.

*We encourage anyone who is considering a renewal for deferred action to carefully review the eligibility criteria and to consult with credible advocacy and legal groups before applying. The USCIS recommends submitting your renewal request 120 days (4 months) before your current period of deferred action will expire. We encourage you to not wait any longer than the suggested period of time.

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DACA EXPANSION

*DACA Expansion was not implemented due to a tied Supreme Court ruling. 

What is the DACA expansion?

  • Expands eligibility for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
  • Announced on November 20, 2014 by President Obama in his Executive Action; however, it has not yet been implemented due to a lawsuit

What specific things does the DACA expansion allow?

  • Expands the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to people of any current age who entered the United States before the age of 16 and lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010; it also extends the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years.  | Details
  • Allows parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents* program, provided they have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and pass required background checks | Details
  • Expands the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens | Details
  • Modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs | Details
  • Promotes citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and provides an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee | Details

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DEFERRED ACTION FOR PARENTS OF AMERICANS (DAPA)

GENERAL OVERVIEW

What is DAPA?

  • Announced as part of the DACA expansion on November 20, 2014 by President Obama; however, it has not yet been implemented due to a lawsuit
  • DAPA stands for "Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents"
  • Provides temporary authorization to remain in the United States without fear of deportation
  • May grant additional consideration or employment authorization, which would allow you to work legally in the United States for a three-year period.

Who can request DAPA?

You may be considered for DAPA if you:

  • Have lived in the United States continuously since Jan. 1, 2010, up to the present time
  • Were physically present in the United States on Nov. 20, 2014, and at the time of making your request for consideration of DAPA with USCIS
  • Had no lawful status on Nov. 20, 2014
  • Had, on Nov. 20, 2014, a son or daughter, of any age or marital status, who is a U.S. citizen (USC) or lawful permanent resident (LPR); and 
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors; do not otherwise pose a threat to national security; and are not an enforcement priority for removal

How can I make a request for deferred action under DACA expansion and DAPA?

The programs are not yet being implemented. On Dec. 2, 2014, less than two weeks after President Obama announced the DACA expansion and DAPA initiatives, seventeen states joined together in a coalition to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration, and effectively blocking implementation of the programs. Their claim was that the President acted unconstitutionally in announcing these initiatives.  Read coverage on the states’ filing of the lawsuit by American Impact here.

What were the immediate results of this lawsuit?

 As explained by the Asian Journal, “On February 16, 2015, a Texas federal judge issued a temporary injunction against the implementation of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), and the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).”  Check out the rest of the article about the injunction and its implications here.

How did the Department of Homeland Security respond to this lawsuit?

 On Feb. 17, 2015, the day after the temporary injunction was imposed, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson released a statement announcing the Department’s plan to abide by the ruling, as well as the intention to appeal it through the Department of Justice. The statement also announced the Department of Homeland Security’s plan to continue to accept requests for deferred action under the originally announced DACA initiative. Read Secretary Johnson’s full statement in response to the temporary injunction here.

What direct actions did the Department of Justice take to appeal the temporary injunction?

 On February 23, 2015, the United States Department of Justice filed an official notice of appeal and motion to stay the temporary injunction against the DACA expansion and DAPA initiatives. Read the Washington Post’s detailed coverage on the notice of appeal here.

How did the U.S. Court of Appeals respond to the Department of Justice’s appeal against the temporary injunction of DAPA and the DACA expansion?

 On May 26, 2015 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied the Department of Justice’s emergency request to remove the temporary injunction against the DACA expansion and DAPA. The Department of Justice stated it would not seek an emergency stay from the Supreme Court.  Read the Center for American Progress’ statement on the denial of the emergency request here.

What now?

 On Friday, July 10, 2015 the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, Louisiana, heard arguments from both the states that filed the lawsuit and the federal government. Currently, the temporary injunction is still imposed. The three judges from the Fifth Circuit are in deliberation to determine whether or not this case will go forward. 

NEWS REGARDING 3-YEAR WORK PERMITS BEING RECALLED BY USCIS

 As Immigration Impact reports, “This week, the federal government announced that it would take more aggressive steps to retrieve 2,600 3-year DACA grants, including launching home visits for a small number of people. This move stems from developments in Texas v. United States, the legal challenge to expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA).” The recall applies only to 3-year work permits issued after Feb. 16, 2015. 

Read Immigration Impact’s full article on which 3-year work permits are being recalled by USCIS here.

Read the official Fact Sheet announcing the recall of some 3-year work permits by USCIS here. 

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FACT SHEETS

Administrative Relief for Undocumented Youth from the Asian Pacific American Legal Center.

Document Checklist, Deferred Action for DREAMers from the New York Immigration Coalition.

Important Warning for People Interested in Applying for the Deferred Action Program Announced by President Obama, from the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and the National Immigrant Youth Alliance.

Obama's "DREAM Act" Directive on Deferred Action Factsheet from the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Click here to download fact sheets in Chinese, Korean, Bengali and Urdu.

Understanding the Criminal Bars to the Deferred Action Policy for DREAM Act-Eligible Individuals from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

USCIS Chart on Consideration for Deferred Action - government graphic chart on eligibility.

KEY LINKS

Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. 

Centro Legal de la Raza (Oakland) 

College Guide for Undocumented Students, an online resource published by Bestcolleges.com. 

DACA Renewal Network from United We Dream. By registering, you can receive additional support and resources for your renewal process.

Frequently Asked Questions: Obama Administration's Relief Process for Eligible Undocumented Youth from the National Immigration Law Center and the United We Dream Network. (Click here for English version) (Click here for Spanish version)

My Undocumented Life This website provides a tremendous amount of information for students and schools, including scholarship information.

National Immigration Law Center

DACA after Trump FAQ from the National Immigration Law Center

National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild's Community Resource page also has more information on a range of immigration enforcement issues.

NNIRR's comment on the original deferred action announcement can be found here.

Renewal process highlights and updates from the National Immigration Project.

United We Dream website includes background information, fact sheets and warnings on lawyers and notarios.

USCIS - the government website for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.